Happy May Day, people. Yesterday evening my mother rang and said she worried that the weightiness of some of the posts here combined with the fact that they expressed an extreme left-wing viewpoint by normal standards was an indication that I was turning into some sort of monstrous eccentric crank who spent hours getting into contortions of impotent discontent. I replied that she was far too susceptible to petty-bourgeois propaganda and promised to send her a copy of Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man.
OK, maybe the conversation didn’t take that exact form. I do think she has a bit of a point in that things have been getting a bit heavy round here lately. Nothing wrong with heavy in se, but it just wasn’t in my thinking when I started out writing this stuff six years or so ago. Back then, I was more inclined to play about with stuff, not get too hung up about making the right noises, and enjoy the thing a bit more, even if occasionally it was all a bit whimsical.
Nowadays I’ve less time, there is a lot of worrying stuff going down, and so whenever I get the chance to write something I end up doing something invariably grave and ponderous. I wish sometimes my head was a bit less porous, you know? So that I could block out thoughts of economic collapse, class war, NATO bombings, environmental catastrophe and the rest and just spend more time thinking about desserts and rap music?
The trouble is, I’ve been this way for the best part of two decades. Some of you know the details, I’m not going into them here, but suffice to say that I witnessed some truly awful stuff while in my late teens that changed for good the way I react to things. Sometimes the reaction takes the form of dark humour, sometimes it’s just darkness. From time to time it feels like I once had an organ for levity but someone harvested it. And it probably shows too.
So I’ve been thinking that maybe I should make an effort to try and get good at not getting so tangled up in things, to try and post a bit more, but maybe not in prose that makes it seem like something has just made off with my innards. Maybe try and get a different handle on things that already interest me, rather than find a new interest in fly-fishing or single-gauge railways. Play around a bit more. Let’s see how it goes.